Category: Book

Strength and Conditioning Book

They say better late than ever, in this case it took few years, but eventually the project is now completed and the book will be out on the 17th of December.
It all started with a chat at a conference few years ago with my colleagues and friends Rob Newton and Ken Nosaka discussing the need of a comprehensive textbook on strength and conditioning providing information on the biological bases as well as practical applications.
This book is finally a reality thanks to the help and support of many colleagues who agreed to contribute to this project providing excellent chapters and creating a unique resource which we hope will be well received by anyone interested in Strength and Conditioning.

This book provides the latest scientific and practical information in the field of strength and conditioning. The text is presented in four sections, the first of which covers the biological aspects of the subject, laying the foundation for a better understanding of the second on the biological responses to strength and conditioning programs. Section three deals with the most effective monitoring strategies for evaluating a training program and establishing guidelines for writing a successful strength and conditioning program. The final section examines the role of strength and conditioning as a rehabilitation tool and as applied to those with disabilities.
The book is already available on Amazon and other online booksellers in hardcover and paperback editions.
A big thanks to our production team at Wiley-Blackwell and all the colleagues contributing to the chapters.

Details of the chapters are available here:
Foreword (Sir Clive Woodward).
1.1 Skeletal Muscle Physiology (Valmor Tricoli).
1.2 Neuromuscular Physiology (Alberto Rainoldi and Marco Gazzoni).
1.3 Bone Physiology (Jörn Rittweger).
1.4 Tendon Physiology (Nicola Maffulli, Umile Giuseppe Longo, Filippo Spiezia and Vincenzo Denaro).
1.5 Bioenergetics of Exercise (R.J. Maughan).
1.6 Respiratory and Cardiovascular Physiology (Jeremiah J. Peiffer and Chris R. Abbiss).
1.7 Genetic and Signal Transduction Aspects of Strength Training (Henning Wackerhage, Arimantas Lionikas, Stuart Gray and Aivaras Ratkevicius).
1.8 Strength and Conditioning Biomechanics (Robert U. Newton).
2.1 Neural Adaptations to Resistance Exercise (Per Aagaard).
2.2 Structural and Molecular Adaptations to Training (Jesper L. Andersen).
2.3 Adaptive Processes in Human Bone and Tendon (Constantinos N. Maganaris, Jörn Rittweger and Marco V. Narici).
2.4 Biomechanical Markers and Resistance Training (Christian Cook and Blair Crewther).
2.5 Cardiovascular Adaptations to Strength and Conditioning (Andy Jones and Fred DiMenna).
2.6 Exercise-induced Muscle Damage and Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) (Kazunori Nosaka).
2.7 Alternative Modalities of Strength and Conditioning: Electrical Stimulation and Vibration (Nicola A. Maffiuletti and Marco Cardinale).
2.8 The Stretch–Shortening Cycle (SSC) (Anthony Blazevich).
2.9 Repeated-sprint Ability (RSA) (David Bishop and Olivier Girard).
2.10 The Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) (Romain Meeusen and Kevin De Pauw).
3.1 Principles of Athlete Testing (Robert U. Newton and Marco Cardinale).
3.2 Speed and Agility Assessment (Warren Young and Jeremy Sheppard).
3.3 Testing Anaerobic Capacity and Repeated-sprint Ability (David Bishop and Matt Spencer).
3.4 Cardiovascular Assessment and Aerobic Training Prescription (Andy Jones and Fred DiMenna).
3.5 Biochemical Monitoring in Strength and Conditioning (Michael R. McGuigan and Stuart J. Cormack).
3.6 Body Composition: Laboratory and Field Methods of Assessment (Arthur Stewart and Tim Ackland).
3.7 Total Athlete Management (TAM) and Performance Diagnosis (Robert U. Newton and Marco Cardinale).
4.1 Resistance Training Modes: A Practical Perspective (Michael H. Stone and Margaret E. Stone).
4.2 Training Agility and Change-of-direction Speed (CODS) (Jeremy Sheppard and Warren Young).
4.3 Nutrition for Strength Training (Christopher S. Shaw and Kevin D. Tipton).
4.4 Flexibility (William A. Sands).
4.5 Sensorimotor Training (Urs Granacher, Thomas Muehlbauer, Wolfgang Taube, Albert Gollhofer and Markus Gruber).
5.1 Strength and Conditioning as a Rehabilitation Tool (Andreas Schlumberger).
5.2 Strength Training for Children and Adolescents (Avery D. Faigenbaum).
5.3 Strength and Conditioning Considerations for the Paralympic Athlete (Mark Jarvis, Matthew Cook and Paul Davies).

Praising the invention of E-book readers

I have just opened my Christmas presents and found an incredible new gadget: a PRS-600 Sony Touch e-book reader.

What a brilliant tool! After a quick installation of the software, I downloaded many free books on the device and a lot of PDFs from my library of scientific papers.

This is a fantastic tool. You can in fact take with you your full library of books and articles everywhere in the World, read your materials anytime anywhere and also add notes, comments and scribble on the files just like you would do on the paper version.

I am sure this gadget will save few trees and will massively reduce my printing output in the years to come!

Talent alone is not enough.


I just finished reading a very exciting book written by Malcom Gladwell entitled:”Outliers”.

Outliers is a provocative and inspiring book aimed at trying to explain what makes exceptionally successful people. Malcom Gladwell examines everyone, from business giants to scientific geniuses to sports stars. This very interesting book argues that the main reasons behind success in every field are:



– People life’s choices, culture and opportunities

– Practice (where he refers to Ericsson’s 10.000 hours rule of deliberate practice, click here if you want to read more about this)

– Luck (everyone needs to be in the right place at the right time)

– Cultural heritage (who do you think you are…where are your genes/experiences/values coming from?)

The conclusion is that great people are the result of an incredible talent mixed with a fortunate array of opportunities they have been given. The sports-specific consideration that Gladwell makes is related to observation of specific patterns in Canadian Hockey players. In particular, he focuses on the fact that most elite Canadian hockey players are born between January and April of any given year. Something to do with cut-offs for age-classes happening on January 1 of every year. Pretty much he discusses the fact that selection in Canadian hockey is more based on maturation. Something that he could have expanded a bit more I have to say.

Gladwell’s most interesting remark is that social forces largely explain why some people work harder when presented with exciting opportunities to succeed and improve. This is why Chinese people work very hard and American kids are raised with a fanatical devotion to meritocracy [something clearly missing in Italian kids….but this is probably material for another book!].

Most successful people have a phenomenal ability to focus their attention, they have an incredible ability to formulate strategies in order to resist impulses and they have incredible resilience. This is so true of champions. Champions are outliers, people with incredible skills, individuals able to see things faster and clearer than others, people able to move, jump, throw better than others. However as Muhammad Ali stated “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill”.

Sport Outliers are special people, they are the ones winning gold medals at the Olympic games, the ones winning the six nations, the World championships. The talent needs to be there, but a part from culture, luck and social forces, what kind of opportunities can Sports Science provide? In many cases, the bests sports scientists tend to work with elite senior athletes and in many sports there is no cascade/adaptation of best practice to junior athletes and coaches and support staff working with development athletes. Can sports science make a difference at a very early stage of athletic development? Also, how many talents have been lost because of poor opportunities?

Without practice, training, and the right opportunities (i.e.access to best resources/facilities/advice/coaching and sports scientists?) success in sport can only be a chance of occurrence?